Working Paper No. 1176

The Educated Underdog Becomes the Ultimate Superstar

Published: June 22, 2017Pages: 47Keywords: Superstar; Skill formation; Expertise; Relative age effect; Football; Elite educationJEL-codes: D10; I20; J70; M50; Z20

The Educated Underdog Becomes the Ultimate Superstar Per Hjertstrand, Pehr-Johan Norbäck and Lars Persson


We fi…nd an inverted relation between a player'’s birthday and the likelihood of receiving the Ballon d'’Or (awarded to the best football player in the world). We develop a multi-period skill formation model with selection into elite education.

We show that those born late (underdogs) need to work harder to be selected for elite educational programs. However, those born too late will not make the cut-off. Those born late –– but not too late –– will thus end up with the highest skill levels as adults (educated underdogs).

We use detailed data on the performance of elite Swedish football players to illustrate our model. These data provide strong support for the predictions of the model.

Per Hjertstrand

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4557
per.hjertstrand@ifn.se

Pehr-Johan Norbäck

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4522
Mob: +46 73 574 3379
pehr-johan.norback@if...

Lars Persson

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4504
lars.persson@ifn.se

Global index of the sharing economy

Timbro SEI

2018 Bergh Funcke Wernberg - Timbro Sharing Economy Index-1fHemsidan.jpg

Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund University, is one of the authors of this book. The Timbro Sharing Economy Index is the first global index of the sharing economy. The index has been compiled using traffic volume data and scraped data, and provides a unique insight into the driving factors behind the peer-to-peer economy.

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